French President warns of the risk that Europe could `wither`
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French President warns of the risk that Europe could `wither`

(Dan Tri) – French President Emmanuel Macron called on EU member countries to face new global challenges, warning of the risk that Europe could `wither`.

French President Emmanuel Macron (Photo: Reuters).

French President Macron on April 25 called for building a stronger, more unified European defense system as he outlined his vision of a more assertive European Union on the international stage.

In a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris, he warned: `There is a risk that our Europe could wither away. We are not prepared to face the risks.`

In a nearly two-hour speech, he warned that military, economic and other pressures could weaken and fragment the 27-member European union.

He said Russia cannot be allowed to win in Ukraine.

He said Europeans should prioritize purchases of the continent’s┬ámilitary equipment in a bid to further increase investment in defense production capacity.

`We must produce more, we must produce faster and we must produce as Europeans,` Mr Macron said.

The speech received positive feedback from Germany, a key member of the EU.

Mr. Macron has long called for Europe to have `strategic autonomy` in order to become less dependent on the US.

Europe `must show that it is never a vassal of the United States and that it also knows how to communicate with all other regions of the world,` Mr. Macron said.

However, according to Reuters, many EU officials believe that currently the continent has no reliable alternative to the US security umbrella.

Mr. Macron said that Europe is also at risk of falling behind economically when global free trade rules are being challenged by major competitors.

Mr. Macron said the EU should agree to waive its own competition rules so it can support companies in fields such as AI and green energy when the US and China also have support programs for them.

He added Europe needs less fragmented markets for energy, telecommunications and financial services, while also reducing bureaucracy.

The French leader hopes his speech will have a similar impact to the Sorbonne speech he gave seven years ago, heralding some important EU policy changes.

Since then, much has changed in the world, with geopolitical challenges including the war in Gaza, the Russia-Ukraine war, and the US-China rivalry.

Mr. Macron’s April 25 speech is considered France’s contribution to the EU’s strategic agenda for the next 5 years.

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